It’s done. It’s over. My time with God of War (2018) is complete…at least for now, as I always say. I left a ton of its world unexplored, but I saw through this first story of Kratos and his son Atreus, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It was utterly fantastic, and I look forward to its sequel, Ragnarok. Given were things stood at the end of this game, I can only imagine what lies ahead. But, what of this game? A game that’s already been praised, celebrated, and called the greatest of all time. A game that feels unmatched and nearly perfect. A game with extremely solid gameplay, excellent graphics, and an incredible narrative. A game that seems like a must-play for the PS4/PS5.
In my previous post, I was only about halfway through the game, or so I thought. I’m not sure if the game’s latter half was shorter, or if I had gotten farther along in questing than I thought, but it seemed like the pace quickened as Kratos and Atreus inched closer to their goal of scattering Kratos’s wife’s ashes upon the highest peak in a realm called Jötunheim. It could be that the story was just brimming with so many great beats and reveals that I didn’t notice how quickly I traveled from point to point. Without getting too spoilery – if the game’s in your backlog, I really can’t recommend it enough – after obtaining Kratos’s Blades of Chaos and spending a decent bit of time in the icy realm of Helheim, terrible visions of Kratos’ past are revealed via his body-less companion, Mímir, and Kratos forces himself to tell Atreus of a secret that’s been hiding in plain sight. Atreus then takes an unusually dark turn that leads to bad times for a couple folks who had been hounding the pair. This results in, among other things, like an unwelcome return to Helheim, the accidental closure of the only known way to Jötunheim.
If anything felt like a blur, it was the span of time between the return to Helheim and the end of the game, which was marked by a couple major battles. And I mean, major. Again, I don’t want to head into spoiler territory, but one of the battles took me very much off-guard, as it involved taking down a “enemy” that I didn’t think was an enemy. It actually made me question if I had been paying attention to the game’s story at all! Beyond throwing around Kratos’s axe and blades ad infinitum, that one maybe-missed plot point was quickly forgotten once the game’s ending was in sight. Between the absolutely violent and emotional tryst involving Kratos, an ultra-nemesis, and a friend-turned-foe, and the reveal of Atreus’s true nature, it was all I could to do not keep my jaw from falling to the floor. Some of the information was foreshadowed, sure, but that didn’t take anything away from what I witnessed before the credits rolled.
In finishing God of War’s main story, I stand with it now as I did back when I (finally) finished Red Dead Redemption 2, with the vast majority of it left unexplored. I have the choice to go back to a previous save point and side quest/explore from there, or I can start a new game+. As of writing, I’ve not made a decision, because my backlog called and Cyberpunk 2077 wanted some attention. (Guess it only makes sense considering that God of War was, itself, in my backlog for a decently long time. ) I do know that I would like to play the game again, whether by starting over or plus-ly or doing side quests, but I don’t know when that time will come.
If I’ve said it twice, and I have, I’ll say it a third time – God of War (2018) is a magnificent achievement as a game and in gaming. For me, it’s up there with Uncharted 2, in that it’s a game that offers near-perfection at every turn. Its action is intense, its humor is charming, its characters are magnetic, and its story is divine. God of War is not rough, glitchy, or fluffy; every session I had with it was intensely satisfying. Maybe that’s why I can’t quite figure out where to go with the game now that the story is over, because how exactly does one top excellence?
All images, including lede, were captured by author during PS5 gameplay of God of War (© Santa Monica Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment).